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It's All The Name Implies
The Town of Paradise, incorporated in 1979, is nestled in the foothills of Northern California's Sierra Nevada Mountains and sits astride a ridge top with elevations ranging from 2,000 to 2,800 feet above the valley floor. The first inhabitants of the Paradise Ridge were the Maidu Tribes who made the Ridge their summer and fall residence. Evidence suggests that Berry Creek and the area near where it crosses Pearson Road was a favorite Maidu camping ground. After gold was discovered in January 1848 on the American River, prospectors headed to the Paradise Ridge to try their chances. Prospectors from the East searching for gold searched the streams in every canyon along the Feather River during 1849 and 1850, including Butte Creek and the West Branch of the Feather River. A post office was established in Dogtown in 1857, serving the rapidly growing trading post. Lumber mills started operating in the 1850's and 60's and families began to settle in the area. It was around this time that Paradise was named. As one legend goes, William Leonard and his mill crew were returning with oxen and wagon from delivering a load of lumber to the valley on a scorching summer day. As they came into the shade of the ponderosa pines, Billy sat down on the needles under a tall pine tree and sighed to his crew 'boys, this is paradise.' The first Paradise Post Office opened in 1877. Railroad Service was established in 1904 and for many years, the Butte County Railroad operated trains along the ridge, serving mines and sawmills. As the twentieth century unfolded, a new kind of settler came to the Ridge - men and women who wanted to build a society of educated agrarians. After the Paradise Irrigation District had begun to provide a regular water supply in all but the most severe drought years, the Paradise Farm Center was formed to keep up with all the most recent knowledge in agriculture. Growers of apples, prunes and pears on the Ridge utilized the railroad to speed their product to market. Today's Johnny Appleseed Days are a direct descendant of the Paradise Harvest Festival of 1889, held to celebrate fruit and winter vegetables.
Around 1966 it was decided the rapidly growing town of Paradise should incorporate. By that time the population had swelled to over 20,000 from 5,000 in just 15 years. After several votes, in 1979 a majority of residents decided Paradise should incorporate, but as a 'town' not a city. And so the Town of Paradise was incorporated on November 27, 1979. Today, the town of Paradise is spread out on a wide ridge which rises between deep canyons on either side. These canyons are formed by the west branch of the Feather River to the east, and Butte Creek to the west. The Paradise area extends northwards from Paradise to include the unincorporated town of Magalia and smaller communities such as Stirling City to the far north. These neighbor communities add nearly another 25,000 residents to the population. Paradise is approximately 8 miles east of the city of Chico, and 10 miles north of the Oroville area. Residents and visitors enjoy an array of tall pines and majestic oaks, cooler summertime temperatures, occasional winter snowfalls, and an engaging environment. Paradise is proud of its small hometown culture, which is easy to see at any of our annual community events including Gold Nugget Days and The Parade of Flags. The charming foothills community welcomes newcomers with the charm and down-home spirit of days gone by. Explore the community's colorful Gold Rush history at the award-winning Gold Nugget Museum, stroll through town on our Memorial Trailway, or take in a show at the 700 seat Paradise Performing Arts Center. Outdoor enthusiasts can soak up the ambiance of several local parks, or launch out from Paradise on breathtaking hiking, biking, fishing, and all around fun adventures. Rich in history, innate beauty, and friendly people, Paradise is a fantastic place to raise a family, build a business, or just relax for a weekend in the pines.